New Delhi: The global solar sector witnessed total corporate funding of USD 2 billion in the first three months of 2018, a decline of 65 per cent over the previous quarter, as per a report by clean energy consulting firm Mercom Capital Group.
Total corporate funding, including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing, into the solar sector stood at USD 5.7 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017. Also, the funding during January-March 2018 was 38 per cent lower than USD 3.2 billion raised in the corresponding period of 2017.
"After a strong fourth quarter in 2017, financial activity slowed again in Q1 2018 to the post-tariff announcement levels of last year as uncertainties and a lack of clarity in the markets took a toll on investments. "The bright spot during Q1 was a record-high number of solar project acquisitions, proving that solar power generation is a sought-after asset class," Mercom Capital Group CEO Raj Prabhu said.
According to the report, global VC funding (venture capital, private equity and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector fell 75 per cent during the first quarter of 2018 to USD 161 million in 22 deals compared to USD 639 million raised through 30 deals in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Besides, the amount raised through this route during January-March of 2018 was also lower in comparison to USD 588 million raised in 23 deals in the corresponding period of 2017.
Among the top five large scale projects announced during the first quarter of 2018 were Gulf Coast Center Solar Projects (US), Tailem Solar Project (Australia) and Telangana Solar Project (India).
The report also noted that 19 transactions pertaining to solar mergers and acquisitions were announced in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 13 in the previous quarter and 29 in the first three months of 2017.
According to a separate report by Mercom Capital Group's subsidiary Mercom Communications India, at the end of financial year 2017-18, the country's total installed power generation capacity was 345 GW with renewables accounting for 70 GW, making up 20.32 per cent.
"Due to an increase in installation activity, solar accounted for over 22 GW of the total installed capacity, representing 6.59 percent of overall capacity addition," the report said....